ADHD Terminology: Accommodations

Accommodations are alterations or modifications to a student’s education program in order to participate and be successful in school.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004) ensures that children with qualifying disabilities receive the support they need to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education.

Preferential seating and taking tests in smaller groups are often on the recommended accommodation list for ADHD students. Accommodations may be included either in an IEP or 504 plan.

Typically accommodations address learning problems in three main areas:

  1. Instructional methods and materials – in other words how the information if being taught in the classroom.
  2. Assignments and Assessments – how to measure if the student is learning the material
  3. Learning environment – including the physical setting of the classroom and the time allowed for students to accomplish tasks

When thinking about what accommodations you may need, start by identifying what are the learning problems you experience. The map below outlines some of the problem areas many students with ADHD experience.  In a future article we’ll review some accommodations that can help for each of these learning areas.

High school is the time for students to begin advocating for themselves in obtaining necessary accommodations. Parents can help by providing information about accommodations their students have received in the past and guide them through the paperwork and advocacy process.

We recommend drawing up a list of accommodations students need and be ready to bring it into school the first week to share with teachers. Approaching teachers as your partner in education shows them you are committed to learning and putting your best foot forward.

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